Yesterday, we reported that a Republican social media consulting firm was behind an otherwise opaque group that set up shop online to oppose Proposition 1, the .1-cent sales tax increase and $60 vehicle license fee (VLF) to prevent drastic Metro bus cuts.
The Seattle-based firm, Sermo Digital, boasts clients such as former GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, the Washington State Republican Party, and a parade of Republican state legislators such as state Sen. Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island).
Worried about the implied association with the anti-Prop. 1 campaign, Swedish Hospital asked the firm to remove the Swedish logo from their web site.
However, the firm also hyped Swedish Medical Center as one of their clients. When we outed Sermo Digital's involvement in the anti-Metro measure group—they're called Families for Sustainable Transit and have not yet filed with the Public Disclosure Commission, though they are required to do so within two weeks of deciding to form and spend money—we published Sermo Digital's client page which included Swedish along with Swedish's logo.
Worried about the implied association with the anti-Prop. 1 campaign, Swedish, which is actually one of the more than 150 groups that have endorsed Prop. 1, asked Sermo Digital to remove the Swedish logo from their site because "the work Sermo Digital did was for a physician group that is affiliated with Swedish but maintains its own brand," according to Swedish spokesman Clay Holtzman, calling Sermo Digital's use of the logo "unauthorized."
Sermo Digital complied and took Swedish's logo down.
So, for the record, Swedish Medical Center has endorsed Prop. 1.
We have a call in to Swedish to get stats on how many of their employees and patients use the bus.